Frankfurt Motor Show: The Highlights

Like all the major Motor Shows around the world, the Frankfurt Motor Show is one where all car manufacturers pull out all the stops to attract the biggest crowds to their stands. This year was no exception, especially for the German manufacturers, who were eager to shine in their home Motor Show.

Audi showed off their all new electric A2 concept, which should be on the market in 2013. The silhouettte is nearly identical to the original A2, with underpinnings of the current A1. This new A2 highlights the new LED design, known as “matrix beam”, which are supposed to have less glare than normal LEDs.At the moment not much is known about what sort of engines the A2 will make use of, however rumours suggest that Audi will provide the option of an all electric A2 as well as a range extended version. With the four individual seats, this car will face stiff competition from BMW’s i3.

Audi A2 Concept

Audi also revealed the Urban Concept, an electric car designed for cities. The car  has been built as both a coupe and a spyder, and Audi has no plans to put this car into production. it is merely a developmental study to explore new areas of engineering, styling, packaging and construction.The car is powered by a 15kW battery found in the rear of the car, with a top speed of 62mph.

Audi Urban Concept Coupe

BMW revealed is i3  and i8 to the public. Click on the link to read my article on the BMW i3 and i8.

Citroen revealed its latest piece of automotive madness, the Tubik. It is their interpretation of a radical MPV, and well, it certainly is radical, to say the least. The van is inspired by the TUB and Type H light vans from the past. It is designed to fit nine people in comfort. another interesting bit about this van is its “lounge-style cocoon” interior. This interior features a leather floor, felt seats, ambient lighting, a Tv screen and surround sound. Powering this home cinema on wheels is PSA’s Hybrid4 technology.

Citroen Tubik

Ferrari unveiled its 458 Italia Spider. Read about it here.

Fiat unveiled its magnificent Panda. A new design that still heralds to the original design. Check out the New Fiat Panda here.

Ford unveiled its new Evos concept, which everyone is hailing as the successor to the Capri. I disagree, but that is probable because I cannot stand the sight of a Capri, and I quite like this concept. The car is meant to show off Ford’s latest design language. Rumour has it that Ford is seriously considering putting this car into production, however, i doubt the scissor doors will make it into production. The car is powered by a 2.0l petrol engine and an electric motor.

Honda has finally taken wraps off its latest generation of the Civic. The previous generation was popular for its futuristic design, with triangular exhausts and rocket style door handles. This latest generation, is not going to be remembered in the same way. In fact, to my eyes it looks… horrid. Think of it what you will, butto my eyes the Alfa Giulietta is a far better looking choice.

Apart from the new design, Honda is claiming this car a higher quality interior, as well as improved driving dynamics. The car shall be available withing the coming months, with engines ranging from a 1.4 to 1.8l petrols, and a 2.2l diesel. With this new car comes the introduction of a new 1.6l diesel, an engine size very popular in Europe. This car also has a claimed 470litres of luggage space.

The New Honda Civic

Now for the star of the show, the Jaguar C-X16. This new sportscar is slated for production, with a price tag of around €60,000. The interesting news about this car is that it is in fact a hybrid, propelling the car from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds. The designs shows off Jaguar’s latest design direction. Also, one of the key factors of this car, is the lightweight construction, made from aluminium.

The engine is a 3.0l V6 producing 375bhp, combined with a 95bhp electric motor. This car also makes use of the tried and tested eight speed ZF gearbox. The car is limited to 186mph.

Jaguar C-X16

Another big hit, from Jaguar’s sister company, is the new Land Rover Defender. This is still merely a concept car, and was shown off to see the public’s reaction to this replacement for the iconic 67 year old Defender. The next generation defender is slated to go into production in 2015. There is no word of what engines will be available, and no concrete decisions have been made to the platform of the car. To add to the further excitement, Land Rover have also created a convertible version of this concept car.

Land Rover Defender Concept

Lastly the Maserati Kubang Concept, a car created to show off their intentions for their forthcoming Cayenne rival. While it is merely a concept, Maserati claims that certain elements of this concept will make it into production. I for one am astonished with the way this car looks. I was apprehensive when I heard about this SUV, as I believe a company like Maserati should not be making SUVs, as it does not really form part of their DNA. However,having seen what they can do, I am looking forward to the production version. To read more about the production version of this car click on this link

Maserati Kubang

Lots to look forward to over the coming months and years. Lets hope the Paris Motor Show is as good as this.

TS

Techno Speak is go!

Here’s the short story:  Enexi’s tech division, so to speak, has moved to a new site dedicated solely to tech and gadgets.  Where can you find it?  www.techno-speak.com.

The long story?

Enexi has been around since November 2010 and in that time has managed to rack up some pretty good statistics and a solid, loyal following amongst our readers.  We have managed to get exclusive info on the HTC Sensation launch in Malta.  We were the only publication in Malta to cover the launch of the 2012 Ford Focus.  Yes, we were, as a small 4 line paragraph buried deep in the bowels of a newspaper doesn’t really count, does it?

So join us at Techno Speak for in-depth analysis, quick news, reviews, downloads and discussions.  Yes, you’ll find it all there.  Enexi won’t be killed off, and shall host our automotive division for the time being, with some columns from the editors every once in a while.

See you soon,

Emmanuel Buttigieg

iPhone 5 design leaked by Case-Mate

The widely renowned case manufacture ‘Case Mate’ has released a photo of the iPhone 5 cased in one of their covers. Is this photo the real deal? Well the closer a photo is leaked to the real date the more credible it becomes.
iPhone 5 case design?!?

As you can see from the picture above, the fifth generation iPhone will differ significantly from its predecessor. The aluminum back of the yet to be announced device hints at a design reference to the iPod Touch 4th generation.

There is absolutely no reason to doubt the authenticity of the images by Case-Mate. After all, the company is one of the major producers of mobile phone cases these days. The legitimacy of the shots is further enhanced by the fact that they have been subsequently removed from the company’s official website. All we are left with right now, is to get an official announcement by Apple. In the meantime, tell us how you like the design in the comments section.

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Google Nexus Prime get’s a hands on preview on 4Chan

This was quite a surprise.  An anonymous user on 4Chan posted quite a detailed, albeit amateur, hands on of the upcoming and HIGHLY anticipated Nexus device.  Without further ado here are his own words (or her, no gender issues here):

Alright so these Samsung representatives dropped by work today and gave our team a heads up about their mobile division and their flagship phones coming out in the near future. Basically they came in with the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. They said it was a beta model, but it looked like a proper retail version. They talked about that phone, their Galaxy S II, it’s success and the Galaxy S III next year which is already in R&D.

 

Samsung Galaxy Nexus:

– Samsung representatives showed a working a working model of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but not the Galaxy S III. They passed around the Galaxy Nexus phone, and we got about an hour to play with it while they were here. The phone looks similar to the Sprint variant of the Galaxy S II, with a round-edged body, but also similar to the Nexus S with a curved screen. It’s a good size, not too big if you’re used to Android phones. It’s a monster compared to iPhones though.

– Reps said that Verizon passed on the SGSII to have an exclusive deal with Samsung to stock the Galaxy Nexus.

– The SGN will run on Samsung’s Exynos dual core CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Super AMOLED Plus 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, 16 GB internal memory (with SD card slot). It’s 8.8mm thick with a metal body and a 2000 mAh battery (the same as the new one that’s being released for the Galaxy S II).

– It is heavier than the SGSII, weighing in at around 130g-140g because of the metal casing. It feels nice and has got decent weight.

– The phone is blazingly fast; I guess it’s as fast the SGS II. It has no issues with general use and opens apps, drawers, etc. instantly. No lag. I tried opening a whole bunch of apps, but it was still running smooth and would auto-kill once it got overloaded anyway, so you never feel the performance taking a hit.

Ice Cream Sandwich:

– Ice Cream Sandwich is very nice. It works like the current Gingerbread OS but has gotten a major facelift. The menus are a lot nicer and smoother, screens have a ‘glassy’ look to them. It just feels more polished with more animations (fast and smooth) when accessing things on the phone.

– On the demo unit, the Android version was 2.4.1, not 4.0 or whatever people were expecting.

– The app drawer has three sections at the top that you press and it goes to the drawer for your selection. There are sections for apps, games and widgets. The apps section is what we are all used to. Just a drawer for all the apps on the phone. The games section is just a drawer for all the games you’ve downloaded; the widgets section shows all the apps that have widgets available. The cool thing is you can click the widgets in the widgets section to get a view of what they look like. So you don’t have to screw around with applying a widget on a homescreen, seeing you don’t like it, deleting it, doing it again with a slightly different setting, etc. to see the difference. On ICS you get a visual representation of the widget, you can swap easily between the widgets the app provides, change the settings in real time, and then you can go ahead an apply it on a homescreen.

– Best of all with the drawers is that you can create and name your own app drawer if you want. I think the ICS comes with three standard drawers mentioned above (apps, games and widgets). The demo phone had app drawers created called “Sports” and “News” that contained all the sports and news related apps that you download. I’m not sure if the sports apps you download automatically go to the sports drawer (with some setting like auto push sports apps to drawer “Sports” or something) or if you have to put it there manually. Either way, it was very good and reduced the amount of searching for an app. With the Galaxy phones, if you didn’t know where the app was–which page it was on–it would take a while to search through it, because they weren’t in alphabetical order; they were just in the order you downloaded them. This is a LOT cleaner, more organized and feels more polished.

– I’m not familiar with Honeycomb, so I don’t know really what it pulled from there. I’m guessing quite a bit, because visually it’s quite different to current Android phones. I always thought that Android phone manufacturers made great phones, but the Android software lacked polish and user-friendliness. I was told the glassy look is from Honeycomb. There are a lot more blues and purples on the phone, rather than green. The icons look different, more shiny. The marketplace app is the same as the current one. Not sure if a new one is being worked on.

– The Gmail app is a lot better looking than the current one. If you flip the phone to the side, it has the preview pane, like how Outlook works, with the emails on the left and the message on the right. It looks really nice. Vertically, it works similarly to the current Gmail app, but looks a lot cleaner. In an email the reply button says “reply” rather than having that arrow. There’s a down arrow next to the reply button that has “reply all,” “save as draft,” etc. The threads are smaller (could be due to the higher resolution screen) and around 10-12 threads can fit on the screen. Other than visual tweaks, it’s the same thing.

– Calendar app is revised, a lot less cluttered, glassy bluish look. New calendar widget available.

– The internet browser is leaps and bounds better than what you currently get. It has a completely revamped interface, and the icon is no longer the blue earth icon. The icon is now an Android behind the earth, which is green and blue. Name is still “Internet.” But it’s really easy to use. I personally hated the stock browser for Android, but I’d actually consider using this. It has its tabs at the bottom of the screen now, similar to Opera Browser mobile. The pinch to zoom is better than before, the rendering is excellent, no checkerboards. Zoomed out the text is pristine. Really liking the browser app.

ANONYMOUS4Chan

 

All in all it’s shaping up to be quite a device but I, personally, can’t help but feel that this is more of a Nexus S than a Nexus One.  Meaning, this is going to be an upgraded and rebadged Galaxy SII, a product that has already been proven to be a runaway success in the US of A.  The Nexus One was a Google Phone first, an HTC Desire later.  Still, only time will tell, right?

Oh, and you can check out more on the Nexus Prime here and here, more on Ice Cream Sandwich here, here and here and more on possible Ice Cream Sandwich devices at HTC’s next event here.

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HTC Titan and Radar pricing and ship date announced

While most of us are looking forward to HTC’s upcoming Android focused (at least we hope it’s Android focused) event, we must not forget their Windows Phone flagship and its cheaper sibling.  The Titan is that 4.7″  beast you might have heard about and Expansys have listed an appropriately titanic price – 590 euros (589.99 to be precise) and a shipping date of October 4th.

Unfortunately no shipping date has been given for the Radar but it has been priced at 405 euros (again, to be precise it’s at 404.99 euros).  The pricing is appropriate, considering its position on the ladder, and the Radar’s price is bound to drop within a few months of release.

 

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HTC Vigor press shot emerges

The Vigor’s been popping on and off the radar for some time.  First, it showed up on a Dutch retailer’s site, then spy shots showed up online and now official looking press shots have come up to the surface, indicating an almost imminent release/announcement.

No fresh information on specs and the original rumours still stand:  1.5GHz dual core, 1GB RAM, a 720p HD display and that new fangled Beats Audio.  Not much else to say, but we’re hoping this will turn up somehow in HTC’s September 20th event.

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HTC Bliss press shots emerge, could be the HTC Rhyme

Press shots of HTC’s alleged women’s phone have emerged, but it doesn’t seem to be very feminine.  The specs are not that bad, but do seem a bit measly here in 2011.  So far the specs listed are a 1GHz CPU, 3.7″ S-LCD display and it seems to be similar in size to the current mid-range king, the Desire S.

What’s really important here is the inclusion of HTC Sense 3.5.  We can see the new, far cleaner homescreen in the press shot.  But we can do far better than a meesly screenshot.  Look past the break for a video walkthrough of Sense 3.5 on the Bliss/Rhyme itself.  Go on, you know you want to. Continue reading

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HTC Sensation XE announced, world’s first Beats Audio device

HTC have taken the wraps off of one of the most hotly anticipated devices of 2011 – the world’s first Beat Audio superphone.  The device in question isn’t a new device per se and is more of an upgrade to what is arguably one of the best Android phones out there.  The Sensation XE builds up on the Sensation’s slender unibody frame, with the only changes being for the better.
Firstly the CPU has been bumped up to a 1.5GHz unit compared to the 1.2GHz of the standard Sensation.  The battery’s also been increased to 1730mAH.  The RAM and software is still the same as the Sensation.  The headphones also seem to be a bundled Beats set, which makes it a nice addition.  Read on past the break. Continue reading

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HTC event scheduled for September 20th

Hot on the heels of HTC’s September 6th event, essentially a European party in which they unveiled the Titan and Radar, HTC has sent out invites for another event.

All we know is that it’s happening in New York.  What’s going to be unveiled/announced?  We can only speculate.  Our personal guess is some kind of Beats device, as well as the Vigor, the Ruby and perhaps the oft rumoured HTC Bliss.

Check by on the 20th for our coverage of the event!

Ice Cream Sandwich

Eric Schmidt confirms Ice Cream Sandwich for October or November

Things seem to be going well for Google’s development team as their latest iteration of Android is on track for that Q4 release date promised four months ago.  Rather surprisingly, given the excitement for ICS, only four screenshots have been leaked which don’t really show much in terms of fresh UI.  Even these screens, upon closer examination seem to be fake as some key elements from the UI are taken straight from Cyanogenmod and one of its many themes.   You can read more about the leaks here.

We still have no idea of what’s coming other than that Ice Cream Sandwich shall unite elements from Gingerbread and Honeycomb together in a one size fits all OS.  ICS should also have special dev tools which will allow them to scale their apps for different screen sizes, resulting in little or no different between tablet and smartphone versions.

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HTC Ruby gets caught in the wilds of Thailand

The HTC Ruby, a phone that’s been rumoured for some time now, has been photographed in all its glory during a public event in Thailand.  The Ruby is said to have a 4.3″ qHD screen, much like the Sensation but has beefier specs.  Firstly the CPU is allegedly a dual core affair running at 1.5GHz, a step up from the Sensation’s 1.2, as well as having 1GB of RAM, another increase over the Sensation’s 768MB.  It should also have 16GB of flash storage and should run Android 2.3.4 with HTC Sense 3.5.  Rather surprisingly Sense is missing for the most part from the most recent shots.  Read on after the break.

Continue reading

Razer Blade-The true definition of an Ultra Portable Gaming Laptop

Razer BladeEarlier this week Razer took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal proclaiming that PC gaming is not dead. Razer have come up with a powerful and yet sleek laptop that maybe compared to the designs of a Macbook Pro rather than a fat chunky Alienware. It’s the laptop many have been dreaming about!

The Razer Blade is a 6.97-pound laptop with an aluminum chassis. It runs on a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7 processor with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 555M graphics processing unit, 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory and 8 GB 1333MHz DDR3 memory. The 17.3-inch LED display supports native HD at a resolution of 1920×1080.

The 0.88-inch-thick Blade laptop features Razer’s Switchblade User Interface. The interface uses 10 dynamic adaptive tactile keys for in-game commands and an LCD built into the keyboard. The LCD functions as a display when a traditional mouse is in use and as a touch screen when no mouse is used. This could be a problem for left handed people who use their right hand for moderate PC usage rather than heavy gaming.

Specifications:

Core i7 26640M Dual-Core 2.8GHz (3.5GHz Turbo)
Nvidia GeForce GT 555M 2GB GDDR5
8GB DRR3 1333MHz
17.3 inch 1920×1080 LED backlit LCD
Switchblade UI
60Wh battery
320GB 7,200 RPM hard drive
16.8inches(w)x 10.9inches(d)x .88inches(h)
6.9 pounds

The price? Well one will have to fork deep into his pockets that’s for sure to own one of these. Nothing to be surprised as gaming laptops are always twice as much as a tower gaming PC with the same or better specs.